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Monday, November 22, 2004

No Greater Love 
Put Sgt. Rafael Peralta in for The Big One.

Peralta, 25, as platoon scout, wasn't even assigned to the assault team that entered the insurgent safe house in northern Fallujah, Marines said. Despite an assignment that would have allowed him to avoid such dangerous duty, he regularly asked squad leaders if he could join their assault teams, they said.

One of the first Marines to enter the house, Peralta was wounded in the face by rifle fire from a room near the entry door, said Lance Cpl. Adam Morrison, 20, of Tacoma, who was in the house when Peralta was first wounded.

Moments later, an insurgent rolled a fragmentation grenade into the area where a wounded Peralta and the other Marines were seeking cover.

As Morrison and another Marine scrambled to escape the blast, pounding against a locked door, Peralta grabbed the grenade and cradled it into his body, Morrison said. While one Marine was badly wounded by shrapnel from the blast, the Marines said they believe more lives would have been lost if not for Peralta's selfless act.

"He saved half my fire team," said Cpl. Brannon Dyer, 27, of Blairsville, Ga.



To put this in perspective, Peralta had already been shot in the face. A lot of guys would have checked out of the net right then, and become passive. "I've done my bit...get me out of here."

Not Peralta.

Which makes draws his courage and selflessness into even starker relief.
Even after getting shot in the face, his first thought was for his brother marines.

Semper fi, sergeant.

Hat tip: Blackfive

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